Demolishing History

One chicken at a time, that is.

I’ve commented many a time that China’s development comes at the expense of tradition, 5000 years of which seems to mean nothing as traditional villages are knocked down in place of fancy new malls. Near my apartment last year was a gated village and inside was this sign-less restaurant that served absolutely incredible food. The main dish was a chicken fired in a kiln, and served whole. On the side was a soup made simply with salt, water and a gourd called donggua. One could only order if they called ahead of time and certainly only if they spoke Cantonese – our friend was capable of both.

Anyways, this little village looks like it’s coming to the brink. Some walls have been knocked down around it, and I can’t imagine that in however many years it takes for me to come to Foshan again, that same kiln-fired chicken will be there. Outside of a scarce few places I’ve encountered, the hutong (alleys) and villages are being demolished for malls with a shelf life of but a decade until the roof leaks and a shinier mall is built. (I’m only half jesting; this is largely true, anecdotally anyways.)

Someday soon, this kiln-fired chicken will perish from the earth. That’s a sad thought.

Let me know if you’ve seen any of this type of destruction, in China or elsewhere!

Behind that wall was once a vast village. No longer.

kiln fired chicken

Like what you’re reading on China? Check out some other related articles in: The China Chronicles!

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